Black women build each other up

Emma Yeboah

Even in a month that is supposed to be about appreciating the entirety of the female experience, the lives and struggles of Black women are too-often ignored.

Black women are stereotyped and depicted as being aggressive, loud, and unattractive. Being put in this category makes it easier for us to go unprotected. In America, we are forced to present ourselves in a certain way; people see Black women as strong-minded, independent people一 which sounds like a compliment, but is used to deny our vulnerability. We can’t appear weak. We can’t show any emotion that doesn’t  fit into the little box society has placed for us. This is the reality of being a Black woman in America. 

Despite all the hardships, microaggressions, prejudices, and biases Black women go through, we can still make it to the top and succeed. These women motivate me to be the best I can possibly be. Growing up, I always admired Maya Angelou, who passionately defended the rights of women and young people.

I read all of her books and poems. She said, “take life by the lapels,” and I understood that to mean I can exert control over my trials and hardships. This saying has gotten me through some of the hardest times in my life. Despite experiencing the struggles she faced in her life, she always stayed positive and never gave up. Her ability to stay strong and accomplish all she did gave me a sense of protection. She taught me that no matter what, I can be who I want to become in life. 

I believe that being a Black woman is like being a part of a community. We take all the hardships and prejudices and we build success regardless. We protect each other and we learn from each other.